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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

on 11 May 2013
In some ways, this book is 'the mixture as before', acutely observered, genial, affable, discursive, but, also as before, individual, sharp, forthright, poignant.

I can't set down that last word without saying that one poem stands out for me as showing Abse at a level of attainment few of his peers reach, a quiet poem, tenderly building towards the impact reserved for its last word. As usual in his work, it may be assumed that the telling word was unpremeditated --yet inevitable. Perhaps readers will forgive me for leaving them to discover the poem for themselves. I would be happy to return to join a Forum discussion.

A few of the readily quotable lines from other poems may suggest the flavour of the Old Parrot's offerings.

... 'the recurring decimal of calamity.'

'Men become mortal the night their fathers die.'

...'The streets of Germany
are clean, like the hands of Lady Macbeth .'
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on 16 June 2013
Dannie Abse has been a leading writer of welsh poetry in english since the 1960s, and although he is writing less than in the past, the quality of his language and the organisation of his writing on the page is unsurpassed. The links to welsh landscape and social life is acutely observed and unsentimental, and the frequent allusion to welsh language poetic forms and puns turned inside out in an english skin enrich many of the poems, as does Abse's unique sense of history. The translations rival anything Seamus Heaney has achieved as poems in their own right and not as mere translation exercises. He writes as an ageing man with a sense of his identity and voice unbounden, despite at the same time recognising a sense of frailty and the speeding of time. The publishers have put a many coloured parrot on the cover, which beautifully reflects the range and the elan of this fabulous writer. Read this and realise (again?) how compelling contemporary poetry makes life more worth living.
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on 14 February 2014
This gem is for anyone who enjoys the common mans poetry. Nothing flowery; just plain clever observation of people, places and the feelings we all have at some point in our daily lives. A squint view.
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on 15 October 2015
content: typical Dannie Abse - really happy with that but quality/grade of paper I found to be disappointing in view of the cost. I wonder has it anything to do with an Amazon purchase. I would be pleased to learn if that is the case.
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